24th Athens International Film Festival

Elle (closing film)

1/10/2016, 20:30, Ideal

After a violent assault from a stranger, a woman starts inventing surprising ways of taking the law into her own hands and turning herself into an offender. Paul Verhoeven's scandalous and sufficiently kinky return to directing is the exciting distillation of a partnership between a filmmaker who's not easily bullied, an actress who doesn't shy away from a challenge (Isabelle Huppert) and an enjoyably amoralistic story who loves to make its audience squirm.

Copy of ELLE

After being violently assaulted by a stranger, a dynamic woman finds unexpected ways to take the law into her own hands, transforming from victim to vindicator.

Director Paul Verhoeven suddenly returns with a masterful thriller that follows the demands of the genre, a sardonic portrayal of a rather unusual female character (played by the unrivalled Isabelle Huppert) burdened by the heavy shadow of her father's criminal past and reluctant to accept the complacent roles imposed on her by others. In other words, "Elle" is the fascinating result of the collaboration between a fearless director, an actress who stands unwavering to challenges, and a screenwriter who captured their spirited chemistry in a story with irreverent humor, frequent plot twists, and occasional flirts with sensitive and disturbing topics.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Screenwriter: David Birke
DoP: Stephane Fontaine
Music: Anne Dudley
Editor: Job te Burg

Principal Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Christian Berkel, Anne Consigny, Virginie Efira, Laurent Lafitte, Charles Berling

France, Germany, Belgium | 2016 | Color | DCP | 130' | French


      Festival Darlings

      Festival Darlings

      Julieta (opening film)

      Julieta (opening film)

      The chance encounter of a 50-year-old teacher with an old acquaintance will lead to the awakening of long-hidden ghosts from her past and urge her to sort out unsolved mysteries, open wounds and pending affairs of the heart about the man she loved, the daughter she brought into the world, her own parents and herself. A hymn to female nature from a director who has always used his films to pay tribute to the women in his life and his mind.

      The Handmaiden

      The Handmaiden

      A young maid is sent to the mansion of a Japanese noblewoman in order to seduce her. The red-hot passion that erupts between them, threatens the plans of the man masterminding the operation. The virtuosic director of "Oldboy" masterfully envelops the best erotic thriller of the year with intriguing mystery, daring lesbian love scenes, metaphysical hints and unbelievable directorial prowess.

      All These Sleepless Nights

      All These Sleepless Nights

      Two students are unleashed onto Warsaw's endless nightlife and immerse themselves in alcohol, drugs and love. Something between documentary and fiction, the camera follows them from party to party and from pleasure to pleasure, set against a metropolis shedding its identity and a youth agonising over their next thrill. Nights when time dilates, loves lasting for a single smoke, enchanting cinematography and an excellent electronic soundtrack.

      Anthropoid

      Anthropoid

      Can the director of "Cashback", one of the most refreshing romantic comedies of the past decade, be up to the challenge of directing a suspenseful thriller about the real-life plan to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, a notorious Nazi official? The answer is a resounding yes, as the film ends up being a heart-stopping experience with Cillian Murphy ("Peaky Blinders") again at the top of his game.